IEEE Award-Winning Paper Features HRL Transparent Antennas

Collaborative Effort Uses HRL Expertise to Show Effectiveness of Copper Mesh Antenna Attached to Willow Glass Applique

Jae Song and Jim Schaffner in the HRL antenna laboratory holding panes of glass that contain transparent antennas. © 2019 HRL Laboratories, LLC.

HRL Laboratories, LLC, Researchers Jim Schaffner and Jae Song of HRL’s Sensors and Electronics Laboratory shared in the TI Best student Interactive Presentation Paper award presented at the IEEE 68th Electronic Components and Technology Conference.   The paper presented was Copper Transparent Antennas on Flexible Glass by Subtractive and Semi-Additive Fabrication for Automotive Applications.

“This paper looked at transparent antennas on a very thin glass substrate made by Corning called Willow Glass,” Schaffner said. “Willow glass is an extremely thin material that can make an antenna applique that goes on the inside of the car window glass, advantageous because this makes the antenna resilient to cleaning, solvents, smudging, etc.”

Jack P. Lombardi III, PhD student from the State University of New York, was the student who was the lead author on the paper.

“We collaborated with SUNY Binghamton, Corning, and GM on this project,” Song said. “They came to us for antenna expertise. We did the testing of the antenna once the applique was fitted to the auto glass.”

The research found that flexible glass is  a high-quality transparent substrate for transparent copper antennas that is amenable to low-cost roll-to-roll manufacturing. It could be used in existing lines and facilities with little modification. The antenna performed well in on-vehicle tests and had similar gain figures as baseline solid antennas, etched transparent antennas, and semi-additive transparent antennas.

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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